I can’t believe it!  I just am sooo amazed at how scared most folks are of hearing the name… “IRS”  Oooooh! Sends shivers down my back…not!

Look, our firm deals with the IRS on a regular basis on behalf of our clients, for all kinds of situations. So what I’m about to tell you is absolutely true and I even asked several IRS agents to confirm this and they did.

The IRS never (did I make that clear?) never initiates a contact with a taxpayer by phone or email. Let me say this again.  The IRS never initiates contact with anybody by phone or email.  By their own rules of operation, they must document all communication, which is done via U.S. Mail.

So, let’s go over a situation that many of our clients, including my own CPA dad, are currently experiencing. The phone rings, a person (usually with a heavy Indian or Russian accent) identifies themselves as being with the IRS and claims that you are about to be arrested because you haven’t paid them some back taxes.

They demand you give them a credit card to pay now, or else be arrested very soon.

I want to point out a few obvious problems with this. First – It’s a phone call!  (What have you already learned from this column? The IRS never calls you!) They always send a letter via U.S. Mail and then, if they don’t hear from you, they send another letter via U.S. Mail. And then, if they still don’t hear from you, they send another letter via U.S. Mail. Do you see a pattern here?

Second – Credit Card. Really? There is a process on how to pay the IRS so that they know who paid them and what is being paid. It requires only sending payment to certain addresses and must be accompanied by a special voucher the IRS provides. The IRS is not equipped to accept credit card payments via a phone call.

Third – The IRS does not arrest anybody. They just seize your property. Oh yes, that they are very good at doing. Instead of calling you, they send enough letters, via the U.S. Mail and then they finally show a certain level of frustration by notifying you (via a letter sent by U.S. Mail) that if they don’t hear from you, they will start looking for assets (usually bank accounts) to seize.

About the only way to get arrested is to physically interfere with the IRS while they are seizing your property. And that will usually be done by a local police officer on behalf of the IRS.

In summary: Only Evil Thieves pretending to be with the IRS, make phone calls or send you emails. Their goal is to get you to panic and gullibly give them everything they need to steal your identity and/or your money.

If you ever get such a phone call, laugh loudly and then just hang up. If you ever get an email supposedly from the IRS, do not open any attachments. Just delete the email!

Did you hear? Prov 10:23 says, “To do evil is like sport to a fool, but a man of understanding has wisdom.”

Kelly Bullis is a Certified Public Accountant in Carson City.  Contact him at 882-4459.  On the web at BullisAndCo.com  Also on Facebook.